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Interior Health warns of West Nile virus risk

FILE PHOTO - In this May 2015 photograph, a female aedes japonicus mosquito is seen biting a person. Aedes japonicus is a disease-carrying mosquito which has just been confirmed present in Western Canada.
Image Credit: THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO-Sean McCann
July 24, 2017 - 12:59 PM

Now that summer is in full swing, Interior health officials are warning people about the risk of contracting the West Nile virus.

During the months of July and August, the risk of West Nile virus is at its peak, according to an Interior Health Authority media release.

West Nile virus is a disease spread from infected crows, ravens, magpies and jays to humans through mosquito bites.

Interior Health says West Nile was first discovered in the South Okanagan in the summer of 2009 and there have been four human cases in the Okanagan since. Last year the virus was detected in horses and birds in the Kootenays. Several parts of Canada and the U.S. continue to report West Nile virus activity.

The risk of contracting West Nile virus is low for most people, Interior Health says, but the elderly and those with compromised immune systems are more at risk.

For more information you can visit Interior Health, HealthLinkBC, or B.C. Centre for Disease Control.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Jenna Hickman or call 250-808-0143 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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